KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY (AFP) - Patrick Reed has faced a lot of media criticism and heckling from golf fans recently, but the American world No. 12 said he is only focused on "living life the right way" on Wednesday (Jan 29).
The 2018 Masters champion has been a constant target ever since he was assessed a two-shot penalty for touching sand twice with his club on his backswing during last year's Hero World Challenge.
Reed has maintained it was an innocent mistake, but many believe he did it deliberately to improve his lie.
He was constantly booed and heckled during the Presidents Cup in Melbourne and also during the PGA Tour's year-opening Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
In Melbourne, his caddie and brother-in-law, Kessler Karain, was not allowed to be on the bag for Sunday's singles after an altercation with a fan the day before.
The 29-year-old Reed, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, is also a member of the European Tour and is in Saudi Arabia for the US$3.5 million Saudi International which starts Thursday.
"Honestly for me, I try to go out there and play golf day-by-day and live life the way I need to handle myself on and off the golf course," he said.
"If I do that, that's all I can control. I can't control what people say or what people write. I feel like I'm living the right way.
"There's always people that cross the line. That happens. But those are the times where you just have to keep your head down, keep plugging and continue playing the best golf you can."
Reed was part of the Saudi International inaugural edition last year and finished 56th at one-over after making a 10 on the par-five 18th hole on Saturday.
The tournament also features reigning British Open champion Shane Lowry of Ireland, who followed his second-place start to 2020 in Hong Kong with a missed cut in Abu Dhabi and a tied -1th finish in Dubai.
The 32-year-old Irishman is making his tournament debut in Saudi Arabia and hoped his good performances in other Middle East venues would stand him in good stead at the Royal Greens course.
"I didn't know what to expect coming here. It's very much a Middle East-style golf course, and something that I like the look of straightaway. It's in great condition," said Lowry, winner of the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
"I've done well in Abu Dhabi and the Race to Dubai, played OK in the Desert Classic the last couple of years. The wind picks up here in the afternoon, which would suit me a little bit, as well.
"Yeah...it is a type of golf that I do enjoy playing."
The tournament also features world No. 1 Brooks Koepka and No. 5 Dustin Johnson, who is the defending champion.